Christina Sawyer ‘21 was selected as the G‑MAC’s nominee for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award. The award is meant to recognize graduating female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service, and leadership throughout their collegiate careers
This year, 535 athletes were submitted by their respective schools from all three NCAA Divisions, 107 of whom were Division II athletes.
“Just 152 of those 535 were chosen as conference representatives, including Sawyer, who stood out from the pack for her impressive balance of athletic and academic success,” a Hillsdale Athletics Press Release said.
After first finding out about her nomination, Sawyer made sure to give her fellow nominee’s their credit.
“I’m really honored, I know there’s a lot of people that I’ve met in the conference, a lot of fellow athletes I really respect, and it’s just a great group of very high-quality people competing, so I felt very honored to be chosen,” Sawyer said. “I’m just grateful because I’ve had a really good experience running for the G‑MAC the last four years, it was a really great opportunity.”
Sawyer’s resume certainly speaks for itself, as a two-time G‑MAC Champion in track and field, and her class’ salutatorian.
“Sawyer was also a critical part of Hillsdale’s success on the cross country course,” the press release said. “She earned three All-G-MAC honors in cross country, including a first-team honor in 2020 thanks to a seventh-place finish (22:07.4) in the 6,000m championship race, and twice earned All-Midwest Region honors.”
Her list of academic honors goes on as well; the Tecumseh native graduated with a 3.99 cumulative GPA.
“During her time at Hillsdale, she was named the 2017 – 18 Organic Chemistry Student of the Year, the 2018 – 19 College Physics Student of the Year, and earned the Sophomore Woman High Achievement Award from the Lamplighters organization in 2018 – 19,” the press release said. “She was also a two-time USTFCCCA Academic All-American, and a two-time Hillsdale President’s Scholar Athlete Award Recipient.”
With her work both in and out of the classroom being honored in this way, Sawyer made sure that the hard work of her fellow athletes was recognized as well.
“I think a lot of people worked really hard, and my teammates worked really hard and a lot of other women I met in the G‑MAC, so to chosen was a great honor,” Sawyer said. “I don’t necessarily feel like I worked harder than them, but it’s something I’m very grateful for being recognized for all that hard work and kind of seeing that come to fruition.”
Sawyer’s head coach in both track & field and cross country during her four years at the college, Andrew Towne, said that she is the perfect person to receive the conference’s nomination.
“Certainly when you have somebody that is that caliber of a student, that caliber of an athlete, and just her discipline as a person, I think that’s just the type of person that you want to be a role model for all of your athletes,” Towne said.